Wrong to equate Hindutva with terror, says Shiv Sena

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Mumbai, May 16 (IANS) The Shiv Sena said on Monday it was wrong to equate ‘Hindutva and Hindu nationalism’ with terror, referring to last week’s discharge of Sadhvi Pragnya and five others accused of involvement in the 2008 Malegaon blast.

“Instead of crushing terrorism perpetrated by some Muslim fundamentalists with help from Pakistan, a bogey of ‘Hindu terror’ was created to appease the minority community,” the Shiv Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana.

It said that Hindu nationalists like Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, Lt. Col. Prasad S. Purohit and others were “deliberately implicated” in terror acts by the erstwhile Congress-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra.

“But they failed to realise that by doing this, they were actually strengthening Pakistan’s hands…; Whenever India demanded handing over of terrorists, Pakistan felt emboldened to demand handing over persons like Purohit. This golden opportunity was given on a platter by the Congress to Pakistan,” the Sena said.

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Moreover, Pakistan claimed that it was not responsible for the terror acts in India, and levelled a counter-charge that Hindu terrorists were behind these (terror) acts.

“Obviously, this was due to political interference in the Malegaon blasts…; Persons like P. Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar and (the late) R.R. Patil thumped their chests and shouted that ‘Muslims were being targetted’ and gave a saffron colour to terror,” said the Sena.

Questioning the motives behind “discrediting Hindus in their own country”, the Sena said our Hindus “are not extremists like the fanatic Muslims in Pakistan or Afghanistan and (Hindus) would not destroy their own country”.

Yet, the former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government pressurised the investigating agencies to trap Hindu nationalists like Sadhvi Pragnya and Purohit in the name of terror, and “ruined” eight years of their life, but now they have been proved innocent.

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It accused the Anti-Terrorist Squad officials of “crossing limits”, creating false evidences, planting RDX in the house of Purohit, and meting out physical and mental torture to Sadhvi Pragnya and other accused.

However, it said, Sadhvi Pragnya and five others have been declared innocent while Purohit has been absolved of the terror charges, and charges under the dreaded Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) have been withdrawn against all the accused.

“For these acts, the concerned officials should be exposed and booked as Sadhvi Pragnya and others languished behind bars for eight years, which can never be compensated,” the Sena demanded.

It welcomed the development in which 21 innocent Muslims who were accused in the Malegaon 2006 blasts were also similarly acquitted, and said “the truth is that the real culprits have fled to Pakistan”.

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